Sister of murdered MP Jo Cox, human rights campaigner and politicians are among the guest of speakers at National Hate Crime Conference set to take place in Bradford

At the opening of Jo Cox Cafe at Bradford College

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The sister of murdered MP Jo Cox, a mother whose daughter was murdered for being a goth and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell are among the speakers at a national conference on hate crime due to take place in Bradford in April.

The two-day conference aims to raise awareness, promote debate and share good practice around hate crime with the areas of focus including LGBT, race and disability hate crimes, Islamophobia, sexual harassment and violence against women, bullying and cyberbullying, radicalisation, behaviour and language.

Bradford College

The conference will take place at Bradford College on April 25 and 26 and is expected to attract delegates from education, private and public sector organisations, the voluntary sector and students.

A hate crime is any unwanted behaviour directed at someone because they are not the same as something or everyone else and usually instigated because of race, ethnicity, disability, belief, gender identity or sexual orientation. Hate crime can include threatening behaviour, assault, robbery, damage to property, harassment or inciting others.

Kim Leadbeater, a lecturer at Bradford College until the brutal murder of her sister Jo Cox by a ‘Nazi’ extremist in June 2016, now works to bring communities together through the More In Common movement, named after her sister’s maiden speech in parliament promoting social cohesion.

Sylvia Lancaster OBE is Chief Executive of the Sophie Lancaster Foundation which was set up in response to her daughter Sophie’s murder in August 2007. The Sophie Lancaster Foundation focuses on creating respect for and understanding of subcultures in our communities.

The conference will also hear from Matthew Ogston of the Naz and Matt Foundation, which tackles homophobia triggered by religion to help parents accept their children. The foundation was set up in 2014 following the sad loss of Matt’s fiancé, Naz, who took his own life two days after his deeply religious family confronted him about his sexuality.

Taking to the stage too during the conference are Kamlesh Kumar Patel, Baron Patel of Bradford OBE, a British politician and Labour member of the House of Lords; Naz Shah, Labour MP for the constituency of Bradford West; Jasvinder Sanghera CBE, an outspoken campaigner and advocate for the rights of those experiencing forced marriages and honour-based abuse and James Griffiths, Director of Learning at the National Holocaust Centre and Museum.

A Bradford College spokesperson said: “The conference is a continuation of the college’s work in tackling inequality and discrimination, advancing equality of opportunity and promoting good relations.

“We have over 100 different nationalities within our student community. This diversity is creative and empowering but at times because of the national political context we live in, it can be the focus of hate.”

Full details of the conference programme can be found on the college website https://www.bradfordcollege.ac.uk/events/2018/hate-conference and tickets can be booked, for one day or both, via Eventbrite.

For queries, email diversityplus@bradfordcollege.ac.uk or phone 01274 433143.

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